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The Price of Not Hiring Women for Sought-After Sales Jobs: $1.5 Million

January 7, 2016 Workplace Discrimination

Well-qualified female applicants routinely turned away

While many preconceived notions of “man’s work” and “woman’s work” have begun to deteriorate over the last few decades, there are still plenty of job categories that seem to break down along gender lines.

For example, you may sometimes notice more men doing jobs that require physical strength. While men may be more likely to apply for those kinds of positions, sometimes there’s something else at play.

Discrimination in hiring may preclude entire classes of people from being hired for positions that they may be qualified for. That means qualified job seekers may miss out on higher-paying positions or other perks such as better schedules or opportunities for advancement. Obviously, gender stereotyping can have a negative effect on both men and women.

Recently, one large U.S. employer found out what unlawful hiring discrimination can cost.

No Women Need Apply

Landing a service sales representative position at the Cintas Corporation was a good opportunity. In that job, staffers were charged with handling all the customer contact for certain clients within specific geographic areas. People in these roles are largely considered the “public face” of the company.

Applicants had to undergo a thorough screening process. Successful candidates had to possess skills in communications and sales, as well as be physically able to drive a delivery truck and handle the delivered goods (which were large bundle of work uniforms).

Mirna Serrano felt that she was qualified for the job. In fact, she applied with the regional Cintas office several times but was never offered a position. She began to suspect that one thing was holding her back: the fact that she was a woman.

Serrano complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The agency launched an investigation into the company and found that even though women often applied for service sales representative positions, Cintas rarely hired them.

After digging in further, the EEOC found a number of other qualified women who had been denied employment offers. It sued the company for sex discrimination on the women’s behalf.

After years of legal proceedings, Cintas decided to settle out of court rather than takes its chances in front of an unsympathetic jury. It must pay $1.5 million to the women that it denied employment due to their sex.

What It Means to You

It’s important to remember that both male and female applicants are entitled to equal consideration and treatment during the hiring process. If you feel that you’ve been denied employment due to your gender, it’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer who has experience handling sex discrimination cases.

Email us at or call (267) 273-1054 for a free consultation to find out more about your rights.